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2022 Salute to Nurses: Letters S-T

Salem Hospital

Armi Agno, Salem Hospital

Armi always has her patients’ best interest at heart. She is always pleasant and helpful when interacting with other departments for patient care. Armi demonstrates compassion by feeling patients’ pain. She translates into Spanish for non-English speaking patients. Armi is punctual, self-determined, and very understanding with patients and co-workers.—Nominated by Ann-Marie Opiela


Lisa Cavallaro, The Birthplace, Salem Hospital

Lisa Cavallaro is the head of the Birthplace at Salem Hospital. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was actually the doctor who delivered me at the same birthplace 30 years ago. When I came into the Birthplace to deliver my first baby, she was so thorough and caring. For the rest of my stay at the Birthplace she checked on me frequently. I delivered baby No. 2 there as well, and she and her team were flawless. Having a baby is one of the biggest days in a woman’s life, and the nurses at the Salem Birthplace make each woman feel special and cared for. I literally cannot say enough good things about them, but especially Lisa. You can see that she only hires the best of the best and she is determined to make every woman who comes through the Birthplace doors have the best experience possible.—Nominated by Cecily George


Noreen Hubbard, Salem Hospital

My mom was in the ICU in October 2021 for an emergency pacemaker insertion. It was the worst possible timing because the ICU was filling up with COVID patients, most of them on ventilators. Noreen treated my mom as if she were her own. It was obvious how busy she was, and uncomfortable under an N95 mask all day. She went out of her way to make sure my mom had food that she liked. She kept us all updated and kept my mom safe. Noreen never made my mom feel bad about asking for help, and my dad felt so much more at ease knowing Noreen was taking care of mom. Thank you, Noreen, words cannot describe how your professionalism allowed our family to breathe.—Nominated by Lisa O’Neil


Kelli O’Brien, Salem Hospital

Rather than a specific event, Kelli must be recognized for her eight years in consistent practice advocating for the highest standard of care for her patients. Examples of Kelli’s excellence are numerous, including strong communication with providers and even following up outside of the hospital and asking for updates from hospital physicians as to the health and safety of these same patients. Her engaging, outgoing personality has patients requesting her for care. Kelli is always up to date on policy and best practices. She models solid leadership, excellent decision-making skills, and teamwork as the foundation of her practice. Furthermore, she has also spent years advocating for her peers in tireless pursuit of fair treatment, previously in a union role and now as staff.—Nominated by Colette Poirier


Bee ONeill, Salem Hospital

Bee was the calmest, most caring and resourceful nurse I have ever met. I literally met her on the worst day of my life in the emergency department, and somehow she convinced me it would be OK, that it would get better, that I would get through it. She treated me and my family as if we were part of her family but had a wealth of knowledge. You hear stories of how one nurse can make a difference. For us, that was Bee.—Nominated by Todd Matthews


Signature Medical Group Greene Cancer Center

Elizabeth Flanagan, Greene Cancer Center

While everyone was coping with the pandemic in 2020, other people, like myself, were fighting another battle, this one against cancer. At 27, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The early months of 2020 consisted of anxiety-inducing scans, endless blood work, body altering surgery, and an emotional toll that only fellow cancer survivors can imagine. I received my first infusion of chemotherapy on April Fool’s Day, a day I will always remember as being ironically not-funny. Although the infusion was terrifying, I did see some light that day in the form of my nurse, Beth.


Beth is outgoing, witty, sarcastic, and sharp. She spent a great deal of time describing what side effects I might expect, and she made me promise to call her if it all became too much. At times, it did become too much, and Beth was always there for me. In May 2020, my blood cells tanked and I needed to add another medication to my regimen. This meant I had to come to the clinic three additional days every week, putting me at increased risk for infection. Beth knew that I was more than capable of injecting myself at home, and her team worked with my insurance company to get my medication delivered straight to my home. I never contracted COVID or any other illness during my time receiving chemotherapy.

I am still getting monthly injections to help prevent my cancer from coming back. Strangely, I look forward to my injections now, because seeing Beth gives me comfort. I only understand half the analogies she uses due to our generation gap, but I love her words just the same. She epitomizes what it means to be a dedicated nurse and I will be forever grateful for her service.—Nominated by Caitlin Howard


Southcoast Health Obstetrics and Gynecology

Nicole Mapes, Southcoast Health OB-GNY

I had my first child half in my car and half in the ER. When I told Nicole how traumatic that was, she made me comfortable by booking an induction so it didn’t happen again with my second child. When it came time to be induced, the hospital canceled my appointment because they were full. I was a nervous wreck. I kept telling Nicole “I know the baby is coming,” and no one believed me but her. Nicole’s superiors were telling her to keep me home until I showed signs of labor; but I knew my body and knew I wouldn’t have signs until it was too late. Nicole listened and kept advocating for me until they let me go in later that day. I’m so thankful for her actually LISTENING to me. Because of Nicole, I was at the hospital when the baby came in six minutes, with no need for induction.—Nominated by Christina Proulx


Amber Miranda, Southcoast OB-GNY

Amber was my grandmother’s nurse when she lost her battle with cancer in 2017. Amber was and still is compassionate, knowledgeable, and respectful. It’s rare to find a nurse that combines such personal touches and care with outstanding quality of medical care.—Nominated by Nicole Pereira



South Shore Health

Rachel Anderson, South Shore Hospital

Rachel consistently goes beyond expectations in supporting the onboarding of new staff. She is knowledgeable, welcoming, and always willing to partner in education to provide the best care to our community.—Nominated by Lisa Lennon


Caitlin Babin, South Shore Hospital

Caitlin cares for new moms and their babies on the Mother Infant Unit. Patient surveys mention Caitlin by name almost weekly. They thank her for her compassionate, expert care, and for making them leave feeling confident in their ability to care for themselves and their families. She is an exceptional nurse and we are lucky to have her.—Nominated by Kathleen Bruce


Debra Connelly, South Shore Medical Center

Debra Connelly has been with South Shore Health for 35 years—first at South Shore Hospital, then South Shore VNA, and now as a member of the Anticoagulation Management Services at South Shore Medical Center. She mentors younger nurses with her wealth of knowledge gained over the years. Her kindness and care to her patients follow her through every area of her practice. Some of the patients she cared for as a visiting nurse who are now also part of the SSMC AMS remember her and are thrilled that she continues to be part of their care team.  Debra is what nursing is all about.—Nominated by Donna Stransky


Alicia Delprete, South Shore Health

Alicia is the nurse navigator for Orthopedics. She teaches the Total Joint class for patients and their families who will be having joint replacement surgery. I have witnessed her compassion and clinical competency both professionally, as a nurse myself, and personally, with a family member having a joint replacement. Alicia’s vast orthopedic and surgical knowledge is evident in her communications. Patients who attend her class understand the preoperative phase, the surgery, and the postoperative phase. I have witnessed Alicia advocate for her patients, making the process as easy as possible for them. As a nurse, I know the importance educating a surgical patient, and Alicia does a great job.—Nominated by Wanda Salvatore


Kathryn Googins, South Shore Health

A senior nurse in the Emergency Department, Kathryn has spent over 25 years providing care to our most critical of patients. Her true passion is educating our young and novice nurses. Kathryn is always available to go over equipment or procedures, and jumps in to help staff who are new to Emergency Medicine. Kathryn is an instructor for the Trauma Nursing Core Course and usually comes in first to help set up and leaves last to clean up. Kathryn is kind and compassionate to her patients and peers and can often be found helping our patients and families. Kathryn leads by example and sets the bar high with her commitment to nursing excellence. It is a true honor to work alongside Kathryn and we are blessed to have her in our Emergency Department.—Nominated by Jenifer Green


Janet Hooker, South Shore Hospital

Janet continually rises above expectations to help her patients and colleagues. Janet often helps her colleagues or sings Olaf songs to her pediatric patients. With her patients’ best interests at heart, Janet frequently advocates for family-centered care.—Nominated by Kerry Sullivan


Kate Levine, South Shore Hospital

Kate Levine is a caring, competent, compassionate nurse in the Emergency Department at South Shore Hospital. She regularly demonstrates these qualities in her daily practice. One recent example stands out. She expressed concern for a patient in the ED who resided in a group home and had a care companion from the home at her bedside. When the care companion had to leave suddenly, the patient began to feel anxious, so Kate advocated for a replacement. Nobody from the group home was available, so she asked for an ED staff member to be at the bedside. She also asked the group home about a method that had worked well for this patient when she was in distress. The patient was escalating and couldn’t redirected because her care companion had left. When it turned out that watching “Sesame Street” was known to decrease her anxiety, Kate immediately found the show on the hospital TV and sang the songs with the patient. The patient calmed down.


This shows how a simple act of kindness and caring can make such an impact on the patient’s experience and outcome, and it’s only one example of the exemplary care that Kate provides. Kate represents the core of nursing. She is a true patient advocate and a role model to all.—Nominated by Susan Meighan


Ginny Philippeaux, South Shore Hospital

Ginny embodies the spirit of the perioperative nurses who care for so many patients and their families in times of crisis and fear, as they undergo potentially life-threatening surgery.

Working in the preoperative area, Ginny is kind, understanding, and calm at all times as she collects important medical and social information about each patient, and prepares them for their surgery. Her thoroughness, inquisitiveness, and professionalism are key for all of the other workers who will care for each patient during their surgery and after, during their hospitalization. Ginny can comfort and encourage so many patients and their families during a tremendous time of stress, and she brings empathy and compassion into an environment that could otherwise be considered alien and sterile. Nominated by Elizabeth Eldredge


Lauren Robbins, South Shore Hospital Critical Care Unit

After what was supposed to be a routine laparoscopic gall bladder removal surgery on a basically healthy 75-year-old woman, my mother ended up in the ICU/CCU at SSH last July; this is where I met Lauren Gottesman Robbins. Lauren was assigned as my mother’s RN; she knew that my sister and I were both nurses, but this didn’t change the way Lauren cared for our motherto Lauren, we were in the ICU/CCU as family members, daughters who adored their mother and never left her side while she lay barely responsive for the next 32 days. Mom ended up needing seven major surgeries in only 16 days. This was unheard-of. The doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, wound specialists, nursing assistants, and everyone who came into the room all said the same thing: “ WOW”. Mom was on multiple machines working hard to save her life, and every day was a gift, but the most important “thing” in that room was Lauren. Every day that Lauren cared for my mother, I knew she was in the best hands possible. Lauren showed compassion and was my mom’s advocate; she talked to my mother, played music for her, and interacted with her as if everything was going to be OKand thanks to her, it was. 


Mom finally came home four months later. I am beyond grateful for not just the care Lauren gave to my mother, but also because of her clinical expertise and knowledge of continuous renal replacement therapy and the respect and relationship she had with the physicians. I will sincerely never forget Lauren Gottesman Robbins, RN, for the rest of my life. Also: Every person in ICU/CCU was incredible during our 32-day stay.—Nominated by Karen Johnson


Katherine Skordinski, South Shore Hospital

Katherine was my nurse when I was in labor with my second child last January. I unexpectedly tested positive for COVID on admission, which made both me and my husband very uneasy. Katherine was amazing throughout the whole process and made us feel comfortable bringing our baby into the world during these difficult times. The entire staff on South Shore Hospital’s Birthing Unit deserve to be recognized.—Nominated by Jillian Lawrence


Kathryn Taylor, South Shore Hospital

My colleague, Kathryn “KT” Taylor, also serves in the US Air Force Reserves and is known a Captain Taylor. She shows unconditional compassion toward her patients and staff while providing the best care.  


Recently, when a staff member was extremely busy caring for a COVID patient, KT came to assist. She saw that the staff member had multiple medical issues emerging with a very sick COVID patient who was on 11 medication drips, required a special form of dialysis performed by critical care nurse, and needed to be flipped on their belly to assist with oxygenation. KT walked in and assessed the situation. She asked the nurse how she could assist. The nurse was very involved with lifesaving measures to maintain an adequate blood pressure, and couldn’t look around to assess how KT could help. KT effectively communicated with nurse, recognizing “I see that you need to do this, and I’m going to do it for you,” and proceeded with one task after another. Her clinical competence and willingness to assist were immensely helpful in saving the patient’s life. She then called in additional staff to help prepare the patient for “proning,” which is flipping them face down to assist with oxygenation and breathing. KT embodies teamwork and compassion every day at work.


COVID has been trying for all health-care professionals, and people like KT who help one another help overcome emotional distress during the pandemic.—Nominated by Tammy Wood


Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care Cambridge

Michelle Moore, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Charlestown

My husband was on the seventh floor head-injury unit for two months. Michelle was his primary care nurse, on and off. She made a horribly traumatic time as bearable as possible. She responded immediately to any need of my husband or my family. Any time we had a concern, she immediately met the need or contacted the doctor. She was extremely supportive and exhibited superior nursing skills. I am a retired nurse and I know excellence when I see it.—Nominated by Ann Marie Baden


Tatchie Paganini, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cambridge

Tatchie is very informative about her patients and knows them well. Her reports are always direct and to the point. She knows their likes and dislikes and what helps regarding their care. She is attentive, friendly, and a great asset to the Spaulding nursing staff. 

We had a patient who was altered and had high anxiety. Tatchie suggested playing her favorite music on the way to an appointment, which helped the patient relax. I love Tatchie’s compassion and empathy.—Nominated by Patricia Carmenatty


Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton

Bridget Blake, Spaulding Brighton

Bridget is an amazing nurse, an amazing manager, an amazing co-worker, and an amazing human. She goes above and beyond for her patients every day; she brings thing in for them, she drives to other facilities to retrieve things for them, and she is able to comfort them, educate them, and engage them in their rehab process. Bridget is extremely thoughtful and generous to her staff. She brings in treats to lift everyone’s spirits and she humbly provides support and education. She leads by example and has gone the extra mile during the pandemic to make sure the patients on her floor receive outstanding care and her staff feels supported and appreciated.—Nominated by Jeanne Putnam



Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston

Christina Cassidy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston

Christina took care of me many times during my two-month stay at Spaulding Rehab Hospital in Charlestown after I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke five days postpartum. My most memorable interaction with Christina was the day I was discharged home to my 3-year-old and 2-month-old boys. As she walked us down to the entrance to make sure I got to the exit safely, Christina gave me a giant hug, and with tears in both of our eyes, said quietly in my ear, “You’ve got this, Mama!” Turns out that was EXACTLY what I needed to hear as I headed home to my life as a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and teacher along with the “new normal.”—Nominated by Nicole Pereira


Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod

Juliette Beckmann, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod

Every day that I work with Juliette Beckman, I see her kindness and compassion in the care she delivers in our rehab hospital setting. With her excellent clinical skills and sound judgment, as well as a great sense of humor, Juliette helps her patients feel the confidence and safety they need to achieve their optimum rehab and ultimately resume their best lives. She takes the time to talk with her patients to gain further insight into their concerns and praises their successes and bolsters their motivation when some days are tougher in their rehab journey. 

Juliette wants her patients to succeed and is constantly advocating for them by collaborating with the many other team members working with the patient. She sees a need and doesn’t hesitate to try to alter, change, or fix the issue, whether a medical or therapy concern.

One patient who recently discharged home after a lengthy rehab stay had a special connection

with Juliette. She cared for this patient from admission, and witnessed outstanding progress. Not only the patient’s hard work in rehab, but Juliette’s support, guidance, and compassion, enabled this patient to return home and resume the best possible life.—Nominated by Diane Coletta


St. Luke’s Hospital

Lindsay Ferreira, St. Luke’s Hospital

Day in and day out, I watch Lindsay assist patients, change them, and talk to them to affirm them and ease their pain and worries. She always presents a smile, speaks to the patient, listens to their complaints, and works to address their issues. In the seven years I’ve worked in the hospital, she’s by far one of the most helpful nurses. I’ve seen her put so many patients at ease. They come in concerned and leave smiling after meeting Lindsay, all from the way she works with all her patients.—Nominated by Paul Gordon


Miriam Hinojos, St. Luke’s Hospital

Miriam was assigned to my grandmother, who was in the hospital with a severe bacterial infection. Unfortunately, my grandmother’s health deteriorated rapidly, but Miriam was amazingly compassionate not only with my grandmother, but with my mother and myself. It was a very difficult time for us, as we weren’t expecting this loss. Miriam kept in constant contact with my mother, tended to my grandmother’s needs without hesitation, and cared for her as if she were her own family. Miriam’s comforting words and tireless compassion made this difficult time much easier, knowing that she was providing such attentive and comforting care. Miriam is a shining example of a nurse.—Nominated by Laurie Sommer


The Atrium at Faxon Woods

Ed Njihia, The Atrium at Faxon Woods

Ed is a very caring person who takes wonderful care of the patients. My uncle was a high fall risk. Ed called me with any updates. My uncle was very lucky to have someone who looked out for his safety. My uncle passed yesterday. I always say that a place is as good as the people who work there. Atrium and the patients are very lucky to have Ed as one of their nurses.—Nominated by Ruth Pinkham


Jennifer Spencer, The Atrium at Faxon Woods

Jennifer has been taking care of my dad since June 2021. She is the most amazing person and nurse. She has shown him and all the other residents such care and concern in every interaction with them or their families. She never makes anyone feel rushed, or that you are a bother. She always puts the residents first, whether it be their care, safety, or preferences. She says that this is their home and they should feel at home. She ensures that the new team members know my dad’s preferences so that he has continuity. I cannot say enough about Jennifer. She is wonderful and talented.—Nominated by Beverly Giacobbe


Jennifer Spencer, The Atrium at Faxon Woods

Jen is my uncle’s primary nurse in his memory care facility. Jen is always polite and professional. Jen calls me when there’s anything I need to know, even the slightest concern. Jen recognizes me and keeps me up to date on whether my uncle’s medication has been delivered for the month. I couldn’t be happier that my uncle is in such competent, caring hands.—Nominated by Gretchen Desantis


Jennifer Spencer, The Atrium at Faxon Woods

My brother has been a difficult patient and Jennifer has been kind, courteous, and professional when dealing with me.—Nominated by Linda Mazzei


Jennifer Spencer, The Atrium at Faxon Woods

Jennifer was my uncle’s nurse in assessed living. My uncle could at times be very difficult, yet Jenn was so good with him. My uncle was at high risk of falling, and Jenn was always trying different things to keep him safe. She kept me updated about any issues. She was also there when I needed someone to talk to about what my uncle was going through. He passed away yesterday, and when hospice called me, I immediately asked for Jenn, who had just started her shift. I was so glad that she was working that day and was there when I arrived. Jenn (and Ed Njihia) are wonderful. Benchmark and the patients are very lucky to have such caring nurses.—Nominated by Ruth Pinkham


The Branches of North Attleboro

Molly Pomarico, The Branches of Nortghth Attleboro

Molly has been working with my mom for a year or so. She is patient, comforting, and always available for questions. I can’t imagine going through the last year without Molly at our side.—Nominated by Susan Fulton



Truesdale Health

Desiree Costa, Truesdale Health

She took the time to listen to my complaints and validated my concerns. She was very professional and courteous and made me feel very comfortable.—Nominated by Stephanie Silva


Tufts Medical Center

Ferdie Cigarel, Dialysis Clinic Inc., Tufts Medical Center

A few months ago, I passed out in the elevator on my way home. Fergie was the only person who was on top of everything. He pulled me out of the elevator, started fluids, and got me to the hospital. He’s a very special person.—Nominated by James Murphy


Tess Doyle, Tufts Medical Center

Very sensible and clear.—Nominated by Jim Colbert


Teresa Fogaren, Oncology, Tufts Medical Center

I met Terry Fogeren  in October 2018, when I had my first appointment at Tufts Medical Center Oncology, Eighth Floor South. I was worried about my health and how many years I would have with my spouse, two children, and their beautiful families. I have five grandchildren—that’s a lot to live for. I was 66 years old. 


 Numerous tests were taken on that initial visit. Beside blood tests, I had to have a bone marrow aspiration and a fat biopsy. Terry was the first nurse to do the bone marrow biopsy in a way that didn’t make me cry. When the results were in it was definite that I had amyloidosis. From the start, Terry was my constant source of support and encouragement. She’s spent hours explaining my condition and treatment plans.


I can’t say enough positive things about the medical teams on 8 North and South. I think they are all angels on earth. Terry’s advocacy for me has been outstanding. She often called in the evening to check on me and reassure me that I was doing well. Although I know she works with many patients, she’s always made me feel that I was her most important one. I suspect she makes all her patients feel the same way.—Nominated by Kathy Flaherty


George Guara, Tufts Medical Center

George didn’t just empathize with my complex medical conditionhe was compassionate. He cared about my goals and values and incorporated them into my care plan. He listened carefully, advocated for my concerns, and was concerned about how my recovery would go. He was never frustrated when I got mad. He was concerned about how I was coping with everythingnot only physically, but mentally as well. He brought himself to where I was, in my most vulnerable state. Thank you.—Nominated by Eric Macharia


Lauren Keefe, Tufts Medical Center

Lauren has taken me from severe class 2-3 diastolic congestive heart failure/restrictive cardiomyopathy on the verge of transplant to where I am now: off the list, and actually looking forward to my future. She did all this while restoring my faith in my team, and helping me heal from the trauma that a diagnosis like this at age 29 can bring. I do not believe I’d be here today, let alone where I am at right now, without Lauren’s expertise, compassion, fierce advocacy, and her ability to connect with me and meet me where I was. My journey isn’t over yet, but knowing I’ve got Lauren on my side makes it all a little bit more OK.—Nominated by Morgan Trombly


Jill Lopes, Tufts Medical Center

Jill Lopes, Tufts Medical Center

After being admitted on Jan. 31, I underwent a burr hole placement and a craniotomy with a brain resection. As you can imagine, I was terrified, and experienced a lot of pain. Jill, a Pediatric ICU nurse, made me feel safe and cared for me greatly. A nurse demonstrates compassion with kind words, supportive reassurance, and competent care and Jill had all of these qualities. She demonstrated her clinical competency by keeping me safe during my seizures. She always made sure my pain was well-controlled Her nicest quality was her ability to remain professional while making me smile and laugh during uncertain times. Jill was always in communication with the doctors and made sure I was getting the best care possible. Overall, Jill was an outstanding nurse and a wonderful human. Tufts should appreciate what an amazing nurse they have in the PICU. It was my privilege to have met Jill, and I’m lucky to know her.—Nominated by Cailin Lawlor


Jill Lopes, Tufts Medical Center

Jill has been there for me through two Prenatal ICU stays. This time, I was in the Emergency Department. She came down to see me as soon as possible and hugged me and made me feel safe and better during one of the worst times of my life, just by being her selfless, caring, and genuine self. She hugged me while I got my shot and was the only bright part of my stay.—Nominated by Sophia Revett


Amy Mawn, Tufts Medical Center

Amy goes all-out for the surgical patients in the orthopedics department. She genuinely cares about everyone she meets. She’s very compassionate. For instance, a patient had trouble getting pain medications after surgery, so Amy went to the pharmacy and got them for her. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for her patients, and they all feel at ease when it’s time for surgery. —Nominated by Jill Donovan


Anne Rumizen, Tufts Children’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center

Anne is a kind and compassionate nurse with whom I’ve had the privilege of working for 12 years now. She is professional and so caring to our pediatric patients. She is an excellent mentor and resource. She is an integral part of our department and we will be lost without her. She is retiring and should be recognized for her many years taking care of children in Boston.—Nominated by Michelle Kennedy


Veronika Testa, Tufts Medical Center

Veronika is our clinic RN in the kidney and blood pressure center. She helped the dialysis unit provide COVID vaccines to all our dialysis patients during the pandemic. She works hard to coordinate initiation of Tolvaptan, one of the only FDA-approved treatments for polycystic kidney disease. She acts as a liaison between the medical team, patients, and insurance companies, and advocates for all patients as if they were family. We are thankful to have her on our team and as a member of our nephrology family!—Nominated by Alyson Carey


Julika Wocial, Tufts Medical Center

With an open mind and an open heart, Julika has a true thirst for knowledge and a passion for nursing. She quietly leads by example. The Critical Care Unit would not be the same without her.—Nominated by Gillian Taglieri

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